Thursday, January 31, 2013

What is a Near Death Experience?

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Near Death Experiences

Article 1, NDE series
What is a near death experience or NDE ?

Is it possible to die and be revived back to life? Even though the idea may seem contradictory at first, this is precisely what has been happening more and more due to the progress of resuscitation science. Over the past 50 years many people have been brought back to life after they had died, and some have had very intense life changing experiences.

But what exactly is an NDE? Since the earliest times, in many cultures, there have been accounts of unusual experiences reported by those who have come close to death or in a situation of physical or emotional crisis giving rise to a pattern of perceptions, creating a recognizable overall event, that has been called an NDE. Though being in a life-threatening situation or having a cardiac arrest does not, by itself, constitute an NDE, since the term is used to describe specific cognitive1 experiences and sensations such as including detachment from the body, total serenity, security…

It is thus no surprise that during the last twenty or thirty years, media outlets have been replete with articles on these accounts and that they have become the source of many debates and controversies all over the world. For the mystery of death has always fascinated mankind and rarely if ever, are people indifferent to such a topic.

Yet, it wasn't really until the 1970s that this subject entered the realms of science and the term NDE was used for the first time. This occurred after Raymond Moody, an American psychiatrist with a background in philosophy, published his best selling book "Life after life", in which he had collected the accounts given by 150 survivors of near death encounters which he obtained while a medical student.

Remarkably, he found that the survivors had all described similar unusual experiences. These included:

i) feeling peace;
ii) having a life review;
iii) seeing a tunnel;
iv) seeing a bright light;
v) seeing deceased relatives;
vi) having a perception of separation from the body (out of body experience)
vii) entering a heavenly domain.

The experiences were usually described from a time when the individual had been unconscious, reason why Moody termed anyone of these experiences “a near death experience” or NDE.

Obviously controversies abound regarding the causes of an NDE. Some believe an NDE can offer glimpses of the afterlife and will feel it is an opportunity to learn more about the mysteries of human existence. Others instead have a more skeptical approach and think an NDE is just an illusion which can be explained in scientific terms (for example brought about by an excess of carbon dioxide etc…). Their curiosity usually arises from wanting to find out the latest on the brain’s tricks or it may just be plain scientific curiosity.

Moving beyond controversy, perhaps, the most striking aspect of an NDE is not so much the features briefly summarized above, but rather the transformation those who have experienced it first hand, usually undergo. An NDE often leaves a person with a positive life effect making him or her more altruistic, more pious, less materialistic and less afraid of death. Surely, these long lasting and deep changes in attitudes and behaviors following an NDE are a reality that can be socially observed unlike the more personal (subjective) experiences we have referred to above. Now, given the NDE phenomenon’s positive impact on people’s lives, it undoubtedly calls for further research.

The NDE articles present in this web site will allow you to have a thorough overview of the NDE phenomenon, its frequency, theories of causation, the influence of personality, religion and culture, and obviously we will refer or describe studies carried out so far on the subject.

1Cognitive experiences : refer to experiences dealing with cognition, in other words to the mental process of knowing, formulating judgments, reasoning, perceiving and being aware.

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How to Digitally Record/Video a UFO sighting:

Como registar digitalmente ou gravar um vídeo de um avistamento de um UFO:

Stabilize the camera on a tripod. If there is no tripod, then set it on top of a stable, flat surface. If that is not possible lean against a wall to stabilize your body and prevent the camera from filming in a shaky, unsteady manner.

Estabilize a camera com um tripé. Se não tiver um tripé, então coloque-a em cima de uma superfície estável. Se não for possível, então encoste-se a uma parede para estabilizar o corpo e evitar que a camera registe de maneira tremida e instável.

Provide visual reference points for comparison. This includes the horizon, treetops, lampposts, houses, and geographical landmarks (i.e., Horsetooth Reservoir, Mt. Adams, etc.) Provide this in the video whenever is appropriate and doesn’t detract from what your focus is, the UFO.

Forneça pontos visuais de referência para comparação. Isso inclui o horizonte, cimo das árvores, postes de iluminação, pontos de referência geográficos (como o Reservatório de Horsetooth, Mone Adams, etc) Forneça esses pontos no vídeo sempre que for apropriado e não se distraia do que é o seu foco, o UFO/a Nave.

Narrate your videotape. Provide details of the date, time, location, and direction (N,S,E,W) you are looking in. Provide your observations on the weather, including approximate temperature, windspeed, any visible cloud cover or noticeable weather anomalies or events. Narrate on the shape, size, color, movements, approximate altitude of the UFO, etc and what it appears to be doing. Also include any unusual physical, psychological or emotional sensations you might have. Narrate any visual reference points on camera so they correlate with what the viewer will see, and thereby will be better able to understand.

Faça a narração do vídeo. Forneça pormenores sobre a data, hora, local e direcção (Norte, Sul, Este, Oeste) que está a observar. Faça observações sobre as condições atmosféricas, incluindo a temperatura aproximada, velocidade do vento, quantidade de nuvens, anomalias ou acontecimentos meteorológicos evidentes. Descreva a forma, o tamanho, a cor, os movimentos, a altitude aproximada onde se encontra o UFO/nave, etc e o que aparenta estar a fazer. Inclua também quaisquer aspectos pouco habituais de sensações físicas, psicológicas ou emocionais que possa ter. Faça a narração de todos os pontos de referência visual que o espectador irá ver e que, deste modo, será capaz de compreender melhor.

Be persistent and consistent. Return to the scene to videotape and record at this same location. If you have been successful once, the UFO sightings may be occurring in this region regularly, perhaps for specific reasons unknown, and you may be successful again. You may also wish to return to the same location at a different time of day (daylight hours) for better orientation and reference. Film just a minute or two under “normal” circumstances for comparison. Write down what you remember immediately after. As soon as you are done recording the experience/event, immediately write down your impressions, memories, thoughts, emotions, etc. so it is on the record in writing. If there were other witnesses, have them independently record their own impressions, thoughts, etc. Include in this exercise any drawings, sketches, or diagrams. Make sure you date and sign your documentation.

Seja persistente e não contraditório. Volte ao local da cena e registe o mesmo local. Se foi bem sucedido uma vez, pode ser que nessa região ocorram avistamentos de UFOs/naves com regularidade, talvez por razões específicas desconhecidas, e talvez possa ser novamente bem sucedido. Pode também desejar voltar ao mesmo lugar a horas diferentes do dia (durante as horas de luz)para ter uma orientação e referência melhor. Filme apenas um ,inuto ou dois em circunstâncias “normais” para ter um termo de comparação. Escreva tudo o que viu imediatamente após o acontecimento. Logo após ter feito o registo da experiência/acontecimento, escreva imediatamente as impressões, memórias, pensamentos, emoções, etc para que fiquem registadas por escrito. Se houver outras testemunhas, peça-lhes para registar independentemente as suas próprias impressões, pensamentos, etc. Inclua quaisquer desenhos, esbolos, diagramas. Certifique-se que data e assina o seu documento/testemunho.

Always be prepared. Have a digital camera or better yet a video camera with you, charged and ready to go, at all times. Make sure you know how to use your camera (and your cell phone video/photo camera) quickly and properly. These events can occur suddenly, unexpectedly, and often quite randomly, so you will need to be prepared.

Esteja sempre preparado, Tenha sempre uma camera digital, melhor ainda, uma camera vídeo consigo, carregada e pronta a usar sempre que necessário. Certifique-se que sabe como lidar com a sua camera (ou com o seu celular/camera fotográfica) rápida e adequadamente. Esses acontecimentos podem acontecer súbita e inesperadamente e, por vezes, acidentalmente, por isso, necessita estar preparado.

Look up. Be prepared. Report. Share.

Olhe para cima, Esteja preparado, Relate, Partilhe.



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